13 January 2017

Teen Numbers & Story Structure

We have been using ten frames all year to help us develop number sense.  We are now extending the use of two ten frames to help us practice those difficult "teen" numbers (numbers 11-19).  By using two ten frames students can see one full ten frame that represents a group of ten and then another ten frame that represents "some ones".  In this picture they see a group of ten and 3 ones.  They can put the two together to know that a group of 10 and three more make 13.  Students are encouraged to look at patterns and ways to rearrange dots mentally on a ten frame to find out how many.  The visual representation of the ten frames helps students be able to organize objects into groups of 10s and making it easier to count higher numbers.

Continue working with your student on talking about the character, setting, problem and resolution in stories.  For the next several weeks we will be reading and learning about our own feelings, our families and our community.  We will be looking at books in which characters experience the same thing but have different feelings about the event.  We will also talk about how we would feel in the same situation.  You may want to discuss some of the feelings characters have in the books you read at home and talk with your child about how he/she would react if he/she were in the story.

For our phonemic awareness practice we will be focusing on blending and segmenting the phonemes in simple CVC words.  Please continue to practice this at home as well as identifying beginning/ending sounds and rhyming words.

11 January 2017

No School

Just a reminder that due to a district development day for teachers, students will not have school on Friday, January 13th.  Thank you.

06 January 2017

Welcome Back

It is great to be back at school learning and sharing.  For the next few weeks we will be working hard on learning about measurement.  Students will be able to participate in different types of measurements including:  weight, length, and size.  We will predict how many unifix cubes weigh the same as various objects and then use our balance scales to confirm or reject our predictions and to help us make better predictions for the next object.  Students will also compare lengths of objects to determine which one is longer/shorter. 

This week we read many fact books about the season of winter.  Students had the opportunity to write and illustrate some facts they learned.  We had several class discussions about determining importance when reading fact books.  This helped the students pass off the core skill of identifying the main idea and some key details in a non fiction book.  We also graphed some of our favorite winter activities and talked about the information we gained from the graph.  Such as, which had more/less/equal or how to make one column equal to another.

You will be seeing word family practice sheets coming home with your student for the next several months.  These include a card with letters written on a part of the card to slide through; a word family "house" with words written on it by your child; and word family flash cards.  Please use these items at home to help your child practice reading and writing these word family words.  We will also practice them at school so your child should be familiar with how to use the items when they bring them home.

23 December 2016


We are continuing to work on phonemic awareness development specifically rhyming words, blending and segmenting words and phonemes (individual sounds), and identifying beginning and ending sounds.  Please continue to work with your student at home on these skills.  Also, continue to review all letters and sounds.  Work on fluency (speed of identification) and in random order.

In mathematics we focused on patterns (creating and extending) and finding numbers within numbers.  We worked with colored chips to create different combinations of numbers such as 2 and 6 make 8.  We then recorded our different combinations for numbers 4-10.  We also practiced visualization skills by looking at a picture for a few seconds and then recreating it on paper.  These visualization skills help students not only in identifying spatial relations but also in identifying shapes of letters and words.

We spent lots of time singing and preparing songs for our Sing Around The Christmas Tree performances!  We hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season.  We are looking forward to seeing you all on January 3rd.

16 December 2016

Gingerbread Man

During the holiday season we had fun celebrating by reading the story of The Gingerbread Man.  We compared and contrasted many versions of the story and practiced story elements:  characters, setting, problem and solution.  Students had fun reading different versions of the traditional story such as The Gingerbread Pirates, The Gingerbread Baby, The Gingerbread Cowboy, and The Gingerbread Bear.  We were able to again practicing retelling the sequence of a story using a paper plate and a story board strip of paper to illustrate our own version of The Gingerbread Man.

We also had fun working on our core skill of counting to 20 by counting gingerbread men and candy.

13 December 2016

How To Writing & The Invisible Thread

For the past few weeks during independent writing time we have been working on producing non fiction writing specifically, "how to" writing.  Students discovered that not only are they writers but also teachers who can instruct others with their writing.  We first made lists of things we could write about in the how to format.  Such as, "how to feed my dog".  We learned that this type of writing is different from the personal narrative stories we have been writing because we have to tell someone specifically all the steps they need to do to succeed.  Students have been writing step by step instructions to tell how to make hot chocolate, how to make a snowman, how to make a pizza, how to brush you teeth and many more.  Ask your child about the steps we learned when writing how to stories:
  • make a list of ideas
  • write down the things you need
  • get/make how to writing paper
  • point to the boxes and say the steps aloud
  • sketch in the boxes what will happen in each step
  • write instructions to match the sketches
  • check to make sure the instructions make sense
During this Christmas season we have been talking about caring about and giving to others.  We read a true story called The Invisible Thread, in which a lady befriends a homeless boy.  The boy had never celebrated Christmas with a family before he met her.  She invited him to spend Christmas day with her and her family.  At the end of the day he gave her the only Christmas present he had ever received, a teddy bear.  We worked together to write and illustrate e a story and a card to attach to a teddy bear.  The teddy bears will be donated to a charity to cheer up a boy or girl.  This project allowed the students to participate in expressing love for others and giving some service to toher children their age.

02 December 2016

Wants And Needs

In our Kindergarten Social Studies Core one standard states that students will:
Recognize that people have basic needs (food, shelter, and clothing) and wants (toys, games, treats).
A:  Identify the difference between basic wants and needs.
B:  Explain that families have needs and wants.
C:  Describe how basic human needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing, can be met.

We have been talking about these basic needs and how many of the things children think they "need" are really "wants".  To go along with the core standard we also discussed how those basic needs can be met through various types of jobs.  Students learned through a book called, Everybody Works, that we all have jobs to do to help our families.

We read a picture book called, Crispin:  The Pig Who Had It All in which a pig who has lots of toys realized that what he really wants are good friends who care about him and want to spend time with him.  Students discussed how it is more important to love and care for each other and be a good friend than to have a lot of "things".